A former detective has told the High Court he felt “forced” to reveal the police raid on Cliff Richard’s home to a BBC journalist.
Retired detective superintendent Matthew Fenwick said he believed reporter Dan Johnson would run a story about South Yorkshire Police’s investigation into the singer unless he was told about the search.
Discussing a meeting in July 2014 with Mr Johnson and the force’s head of corporate communications, Carrie Goodwin, Mr Fenwick said: “I believed the BBC was in a position to publish a story and I didn’t want them to publish a story at that stage.
“(Mr Johnson) said he could and he would, and we came to an arrangement that he would not publish it then but that we would let him know when we were going to take further action.
“I felt that we didn’t have many options – there was no option, other than to co-operate with him.”
Mr Richards is suing the BBC for “substantial damages” over its coverage of the raid at his penthouse apartment in Sunningdale, Berkshire, in August 2014 following an allegation of sexual assault.
The 77-year-old singer claims the report was a “very serious invasion” of his privacy and has had a “prolonged impact” on him.
BBC bosses dispute his claims.
The singer thanked a group of fans gathered outside the court as he left after the third day of the hearing on Monday.
He appeared to pose for photographs and one fan shouted: “The whole world loves you Cliff,” as he got into a taxi.
Another supporter said: “Thumbs up,” to which the singer replied: “Not yet”.Richards broke down in tears giving evidence on Friday, as he told the judge his name had been “smeared” across the world.
He also said he was so upset by the coverage he thought he was “going to have a heart attack or a stroke” and felt like his reputation had been “forever tainted”.